In severe cases, COVID can lead to complications of other illnesses, including pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause a cough, shortness of breath, fever, or chest pain. It is possible to develop more mild cases of pneumonia in moderate cases of COVID. In this instance, many patients may not know they have pneumonia as the symptoms are similar to COVID itself. For more information on COVID-19, read AFC Urgent Care Boulder County FAQ here.
What is the difference between pneumonia & COVID pneumonia?
Pneumonia can generally be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. With viral pneumonia, this type has very similar symptoms to COVID pneumonia, so it is not possible to tell the difference based on symptoms alone. If you are experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, getting tested for COVID can help determine what is causing it. Researchers are still getting new information on COVID itself and what the potential long-term effects are on our bodies. So far, the significant differences between pneumonia and COVID pneumonia are that both of your lungs are more likely to become infected instead of just one, and abnormalities in tests when assessing other organs, such as the liver.
Who is at risk for developing COVID pneumonia?
Like any viral illness, specific groups of people are more likely to develop pneumonia as a complication. Similar to those who are at risk of severe cases of COVID, the elderly, those with immunodeficiency disorders, and those with other health conditions are more likely to develop COVID pneumonia. This includes individuals with diabetes, asthma, those undergoing chemotherapy, or any individual over 65 years old. These individuals are also more likely to develop pneumonia from illnesses such as the flu. It is important to wash your hands frequently and wear a mask when interacting with individuals within these categories.
How is COVID pneumonia treated?
While there is no specific treatment for COVID itself, the best way to help treat COVID pneumonia is by alleviating pneumonia symptoms. In serious cases, this can be done with breathing treatments or a ventilator. In mild to moderate cases, OTC medications can help with symptoms. This includes fever-reducing medications, cough medicines, maintaining hydration, and getting plenty of rest. Our physicians with AFC Urgent Care Boulder County can help recommend the best medications to take to combat symptoms.
If you believe you may have COVID, or COVID pneumonia, visit one of our clinics to get tested today. We offer rapid COVID tests at both locations and PCR tests at our Louisville location. For more information, give us a call at 720-961-9700.